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Arts and Culture

Davao del Sur solon dons traditional gown in honor of IPs

Philstar.com
Davao del Sur solon dons traditional gown in honor of IPs
Rep. Mercedes "Didi" Cagas (Davao del Sur) is wearing a gown inspired by the indigenous community in her hometown Kiblawan for President Rodrigo Duterte's fourth State of the Nation Address.
Office of Davao del Sur Rep. Mercedes Cagas/Alixandra Vila

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker from Davao del Sur wore a gown inspired by indigenous communities for the president's State of the Nation Address in honor of the indigenous peoples (IP) community in her home province.

Rep. Mercedes "Didi" Cagas (Davao del Sur) donned her B'laan-inspired gown styled and designed by Rene Salud at the red carpet.

Her outfit is inspired by the traditional garb of the IPs in the town of Kiblawan in Davel del Sur.

Cagas wore a gown made of T'nalak, a cloth woven by the T'bolis of Lake Sebu in South Cotabato, in serpentine cut partnered with a light-colored shawl.

She is also wearing a brass belt with beads and bells, the same as the traditional wear of the B'laan women.

"For many years, Kiblawan has had a reputation of being a conflict-stricken area. But by wearing this today, I want people to see Kiblawan not as a war zone, but a town that is rich in culture and heritage," Cagas said.

The lawmaker added that IP communities in Kiblawan have long been victims of crossfires between government troops and rebel groups but have remained faithful to their beliefs and traditions passed on by their ancestors.

The B'laan women continue to weave ikat textiles on abaca, the primary fiber used for weaving in Mindanao.

By wearing an outfit inspired by the IPs of her hometown, Cagas is hoping to forward the plight of IP communities, as well as her advocacy of preserving and promoting Filipino heritage.

Cagas has always been wearing outfits inspired by tribal communities in Mindanao during the SONA. 

Last year, she wore a B'laan-inspired ensemble. She was also dressed in a Bagobo-Tagabawa garb designed by members of tribal communities in Bansala, Davao del Sur in 2017. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

DAVAO DEL SUR

DIDI CAGAS

DUTERTE SONA 2019

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

SONA2019ARTICLE

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS

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